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The primary aims of our laboratory are:
- to identify and characterize risk genes for psychotic and affective disorders and related conditions and
- to specify genetic influences on normal variation of in-vivo measures of brain structure and function and cognitive ability.
Thus, our work involves the characterization of the multi-scale influence of genetic variation on basic physiology, brain networks, neurocognition, and on the complex clinical features and common comorbidities observed in affective and psychotic disorders. Interpretation of such findings is predicated on a clear understanding of the genetic control of normal neuroanatomic, neurophysiologic and cognitive variation, particularly since genes influencing normal variation are often also associated with pathology. Therefore, a major component of our research focuses on determining the genetic aspects of individual differences.
Furthermore, as development and aging appear to impact the prevalence and presentation of affective and psychotic disorders, our group endeavors to identify and characterize the genetic influences of developmental/degenerative trajectories. Our research on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and recurrent major depression, combined with methods development, is designed to enhance our ability to identify, treat, and, potentially, prevent these debilitating disorders.